There are times in writing a blog about politics when it seems like all you do is right about the latest outrages, moral depredations and bankrupt ideas spewing forth from the Moral Majority. Today is no exception. My brother sent me the following article which really opens one’s eyes as to how far backward this country can go in reneging on women’s rights and how quickly.
But first a preface: my mother is a bitter, rather withdrawn woman. She rarely, if ever shares her deepest personal feelings, even with those close to her. So it was with infinite surprise I heard this story. In the early 1950s, she was a new wife living in Washington Heights (New York City). She went into the local pharmacy and asked for condoms. The pharmacist replied that he couldn’t sell women condoms. She doubtless felt terribly ashamed to be rejected in such a way.
Now, fifty years have gone by and women are still subject to such humiliation and it’s a crying shame. But today, women don’t have to take such insults lying down as my mother did.
With George Bush’s re-election the Moral Majority is on the rise again. Beating back gay marriage, abortion rights, and even contraception are high on the agenda of religious fundamentalists. USA Today ran an eye-opening article, Druggists refuse to give out pill, describing an incipient movement by some of the nation’s pharmacists to refuse to sell contraceptives to women. Strangely, the pharmacists’ professional association and impending state laws allow such outrageous behavior.
The American Pharmacists Association, with 50,000 members, has a policy that says druggists can refuse to fill prescriptions if they object on moral grounds, but they must make arrangements so a patient can still get the pills. Yet some pharmacists have refused to hand the prescription to another druggist to fill.
…States from Rhode Island to Washington have proposed laws that would protect such decisions.
I say, if you want to be a pharmacist you must sell the standard inventory of what customers want to buy. If you don’t want to sell such items for whatever reason, well, you shouldn’t be a pharmacist. Pick another profession that doesn’t involve making moral judgments about your customers.
The most outrageous behavior concerns the pharmacists who not only refuse to sell contraceptives, but actually confiscate the prescription form and refuse to return it. This in turn forces the customer to return to the doctor to get a new one.
In Madison, Wis., a pharmacist faces possible disciplinary action by the state pharmacy board for refusing to transfer a woman’s prescription for birth-control pills to another druggist or to give the slip back to her. He would not refill it because of his religious views.
I say sue their ass. Demonstrate as the courageous women in the accompanying photo have done. Let the company which owns the pharmacy know that not only will this specific pharmacy be boycotted, but their entire chain might face a national boycott. When this kind of outrageous morally aggressive behavior becomes the norm, there’s only one recourse–fight back!